• Ghost Road Blues

  • The Pine Deep Trilogy, Book 1
  • By: Jonathan Maberry
  • Narrated by: Tom Weiner
  • Length: 14 hrs and 17 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (3,258 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel

From a master of horror comes an apocalyptic showdown between the residents of a secluded, rural town and the deadly evil that confronts them wherever they turn.

Evil doesn’t die.

The cozy little town of Pine Deep buried the horrors of its past a long time ago. Thirty years have gone by since the darkness descended and the Black Harvest began, a time when a serial killer sheared a bloody swath through the quiet Pennsylvania village. The evil that once coursed through Pine Deep has been replaced by cheerful tourists getting ready to enjoy the country’s largest Halloween celebration in what is now called “The Spookiest Town in America.”

It just grows stronger.

But then—a month before Halloween—it begins. Unspeakably desecrated bodies. Inexplicable insanity. An ancient evil walks the streets, drawing in those who would fall to their own demons and seeking to shred the very soul of this rapidly fracturing community. Yes, the residents of Pine Deep have drawn together and faced a killer before. But this time, evil has many faces—and the lust and will to rule the earth. This struggle will be epic.

Keep chilled: listen to more in the Pine Deep trilogy.
©2006 Jonathan Maberry (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“Maberry supplies plenty of chills, both earthbound and otherworldly, in this atmospheric horror novel…This is horror on a grand scale, reminiscent of Stephen King’s heftier works.” ( Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about Ghost Road Blues

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Love Joe Ledger Series? Avoid This Trainwreck.

If you love the Joe Ledger novels and were excited to find something else by Jonathan Maberry, let me save you the trouble by warning you away from this absolute trainwreck. it's like what Maberry might have written when he was a college sophomore - overwritten, over-dramatic, and with some of the oddest use of adjectives ever. It's clumsy, ugly, and saddest of all - a complete bore of a listen.

42 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Trilogyitis

I gave this four stars, so I do like the book. There are some really good parts to the book, and I will continue the series. There are plenty of evil characters to hate in this book and bad and good are black and white.

A NURSE CAME IN, WOKE HIM UP AND GAVE HIM A SEDATIVE.
This suffers greatly from what I like to call trilogyitis. That is when a author has a great idea for a great book, but his editor talks him into making a trilogy out of it, even though the writer only has enough story to fill one large book. Stephen King usually just writes one big book and it is usually a very good book. Lesser authors stretch out three books in order to sell more books, yet they don't really have that much material. This usually makes the middle of the book pretty boring. With this book you could start at chapter 21 and read to the end and you will have the entire story.

IT CONSTANTLY AMAZED HIM THAT PENNSYLVANIA WAS MORE REDNECK THEN PARTS OF THE SOUTH.
This was an interesting observation. I lived in rural Pa. in 1976, which is when this story starts. I came from the Ozarks, but there were as many rednecks as in the Ozarks. This goes back to the winner writes the history books. King pointed out in one of his books that Maine had a similar organization to the KKK, that was very active.

This is not as good as the Joe Ledger Novels, but it is still better then a lot that is available.

The Narrator was good in parts, but kind of phoned it in in other parts.

.

36 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Refreshingly different.

This book was refreshingly different.The author has done an excellent job of developing the characters and only eluding to the underlying monsters that have plagued this town. Only thing I didnt like was having the book end before the story was finished I can only hope there is a second installment to find out how the hero(s) come out.

29 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Chilling tale

This is one story I will absolutely listen to again and again. The narrator's voice was perfect for this story. He was able to bring me to tears, terrify me, and make me smile.

26 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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A fair horror novel

Any additional comments?

I would recommend this book to fans of Stephen King, while it doesn't have the epic feel of a King novel it feels much the same. The characters quickly become recognisable

Responses to other criticisms of this book:

Poor narration: I guess that I must have a fairly high threshold for bad narration because this narrator did not give me any problems at all. I don't expect a narrator to provide a full cast of voices and honestly find it annoying when they attempt it but are inconsistent or each voice sounds like a variation of a 80 year old crone (I'm looking at you Game of Thrones). Weiner has a deep voice with excellent diction and enunciation, I have no problems with him.

Jumps around between too many characters: Again this isn't a problem for me, I have listened to books where there is no indication that the perspective or character being followed has changed but I didn't find this the case with this book. Thinking back I don't remember being lost at any point, the writing is fairly straight forward and the author uses numbered breaks in chapters to separate each scene... well I'm pretty sure he did though it is possible that he didn't break up every scene... anyway I had no problems with jumps in narration.

The book doesn't resolve anything: Considering this book is a trilogy and one with a grand plan that is obvious pretty early on I had no problem with the end of the book. There were some minor resolutions and there is a lot left unsaid but this makes me want to move on to the next book. To me the ending was logical and satisfactory.

Not Joe Ledger: Yep it definitely isn't... while there are horror aspects to the Joe Ledger novels this isn't a pulp action novel. There is action but it really is more like a standard horror novel. I don't have a problem with this fact it is what it is and the summary of the novel doesn't hide the fact as far as I'm concerned.

Boring: Again this is a personal opinion. I wasn't bored there are a couple of lulls in the action like with any novel and I did want to move on from a couple of scenes but nothing more than you would find in any 12hr+ audiobook.

Verdict:
I liked the book and will definitely be starting the next one tonight. This isn't a earth shattering piece of literature, it does borrow from lore and legend but the fact that I'm not sure what the villain is exactly, how the disparate horror tropes will all be tied into each other and finally who the book will end has me intrigued not put off. Give the book a go it is worth a credit and I like knowing there is a limited number in the series and I'm not looking at a huge investment with no end in sight like the Vampire Earth series.

24 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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You have to read all three!

The first book leaves you wondering a little where it's going, the second is where it starts to gel and gets creepier. The third book is where it all comes together in quite a thriller!!

23 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Ghost Road Blues: The Pine Deep Trilogy, Book 1

I'll admit the narrator is horrible. There I said it.

You can tell this is some of Maberry's early work because I feel he is spending way too much time on character developement and detail he doesn't need to be. Seems to be over doing a few things. However the story is awesome once you get into it. The series flows more like one book kinda like The Stand .. instead of three seperate books. It really starts coming together in the 2nd book. I suggest you stick with it. Im glad I did. No its not Joe Ledger.. or Tom Amora for that matter. Its still really good once you get over the narrator. It really is a great and brilliant story as a hole.

21 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Pine Deep, Where Monsters Are Still Monsters!

I’m not a fan of turning Monsters into misunderstood, sympathetic, quasi good guys. Monsters should ALWAYS be Monsters! There should always be a clear line drawn between good and evil, right and wrong. Ghost Road Blues, the first installment of The Pine Deep Trilogy is definitely GREAT at making that clear distinction. I read The Trilogy once a year in the fall, ending by November First. Minor complaints, are these. They are a little over descriptive. Also the editor wondered off, or forgot what they were doing a few times. So there are some continuity issues, but the story is unique. The BEST of its kind I’ve ever read. So, I just shrug off the inconsistencies, and enjoy The Ride once a year. I Highly Recommend It!

20 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Pleasantly Surprised

I really enjoyed this book. For me, it's MUCH better than the Joe Ledger novels. It reminded me of the best aspects of Stephen King and the narrator, while a bit annoying at first, really isn't that bad. I'm looking forward to the next 2 installments.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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Diet Stephen King

"Ghost Road Blues" was kind of like Diet Stephen King: no calories, half the flavor. Jonathan Maberry apparently scripts comic books too, and that was apparent in the melodramatic prose and the prolonged fight scenes in this book.

Thirty years ago, the small town of Pine Deep was victimized by a serial killer in what became known as the Black Harvest. A bunch of redneck cops killed the man they believed responsible, an itinerant black guitar-player known only as "the Bone Man," but in fact the Bone Man had already killed the real killer. Except he didn't because the real killer is a supernatural something-or-other who, of course, returns. As does the Bone Man, to give occasional dream-like warnings to the protagonists.

Now, Pine Deep is famous nationwide for its elaborate haunted hay rides, which basically turn the whole town into a horror amusement park every fall. A couple of survivors of the Black Harvest are still alive, but most of the town has forgotten or would like to forget about the origin of its highly profitable "scary" reputation.

So, besides the repetitious and melodramatic prose, the characters were flat archetypes. Malcolm Crow, a recovered alcoholic, is an ex-cop who runs a comic book store and has a black belt in jujutsu, and if the triumph-of-the-nerds point is missed, he befriends a fourteen-year-old boy who fantasizes about being a superhero while getting beaten at home by his stepdad. The main characters are likeable if cliche, but the villains, well, they're all not only evil, but Eeeeeeeevil! First we have a trio of thugs running from a drug deal gone bad; the alpha-thug is a hyper-violent psychopath who spends much of the book dwelling on just how violently and evilly he's going to hurt people. There is the crazy tow truck driver who hears voices in his head and who turns into a cannibalistic serial killer without a qualm. And there is that evil stepdad who also turns out to be a minion of the Big Bad, but just in case being the willing servant of a demonic serial killer and beating his wife and stepson black and blue on a regular basis doesn't make him evil enough, Maberry underlines how really, really evil he is by offhandedly having him also publish a white supremacist newsletter. You know, so we won't miss that he's really, really evil.

So here's what really torqued me about this book: it's the first in a trilogy and it was obviously written with the next two books in mind, meaning, there isn't even an attempt to make it self-contained. We're given hints of the supernatural Unspeakably Bad Thing that's about to happen all through the book, but the entire novel is just a build-up. The author is putting the pieces in place for the real badness to go down in the next volume. We meet the villains and the heroes, there is some intestine-chewing, and a few minor characters get kacked to jerk some tears, but oh boy, things are really gonna hit the fan in the next book! Umm, no thanks.

It's not bad, if you like completely mainstream horror novels, but Maberry really does seem to be trying too hard to be Stephen King. While he's certainly a more economical writer and he gets to the point waaaay faster than Evil Stevie does, his characters have none of the dimensionality and gruesomely interesting detail that even King's villains possess, and Ghost Road Blues uses violent evil goons and a few maggoty gross-outs like a hammer. A defter horror writer (like King — yes I'm a fan, for all his flaws) can convey spine-chilling dread with everyday objects or a half-remembered phrases from childhood. Maberry tries to do it by repeating ghoulish incantations over and over and over in the characters' heads.

Ultimately, there just wasn't anything original here and definitely nothing scary, so I don't care enough about what happens to read the next book.

I found the narrator annoying, frankly. He uses a gravelly, snarling voice for all the villains, adding a Translyvania accent for the Big Bad, and I didn't like the breathless, whiny, or chirpy way he conveyed female voices. The narration was clear enough, but I'm just not a fan of the reading.

13 people found this helpful